Belfast Telegraph

Nama sales in NI hit £90m

Toxic bank vows it will be 'constructive and responsible'

By Margaret Canning

The Republic's bad bank Nama has said it has achieved sales of £90m on Northern Ireland assets since it was set up.

Nama was established three years ago to cleanse the Irish banking system of toxic loans on property. The agency's spokesman said there was no further information on the transactions.

It's understood a recent sale by Eglinton Investments of a 70,900sq ft Londonderry store let to Sainsbury's was overseen by Nama.

That sale to the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) is thought to have fetched £15m.

The £90m represents 1% of the sales reached by the agency. Overall, Northern Ireland properties make up 4% of its €31.8bn (£25.8bn) portfolio. Nearly two-thirds of the sales in the province have been achieved within the last year, as one year ago Nama said sales of Northern Ireland assets had fetched €43m (£34.9m).

Just under half of its Northern Ireland property is in Belfast and around 80% in Antrim and Down - which includes the properties in the city.

One quarter is land, 17% retail, 18% offices, 22% investment property, 10% residential, 5% development and 3% hotels.

Ronnie Hanna, Nama's head of asset recovery and a member of its Northern Ireland Advisory Committee, said it was keeping its promise of being a "responsible and constructive" operator in the property market.

"Nama has said it will not engage in so-called 'fire sales' in Northern Ireland or indeed any other jurisdiction," said Mr Hanna.

Mr Hanna stated: "Nama will continue to play its part in bringing stability to the Northern Ireland property market and our track record shows our actions have been matching our words".

Last week it emerged that the agency had lent Northern Ireland debtors £100m for the progress of projects.